To the editors:
After reading Bill Wyman's malevolent piece on Madonna's new movie [June 21], I must conclude that Mr. Wyman is in love with Madonna. The flip side of a reviewer's love-hate relationship with his subject is, frankly, his inevitable attraction to it.
Wyman must have seen Truth or Dare at least three times to come up with the frame by frame dissertation he did on it. Pretty good for someone supposedly repulsed by his subject's cinematic intentions. However, he misses the whole point about Madonna--people enjoy her, and are entertained by her--no matter if her movie is preconceived self-promotion or a spontaneous documentation. Why does he think people are going to see this movie? Madonna has a hole in her psyche that propels her to seek the spotlight and attention she now receives. Maybe there is no inner Madonna--maybe in this case what you see is really what you get. Maybe she's just a shallow, grasping woman, who gives us her entertainer's shell so we can fill it up by keeping our eye on her. Don't overestimate Madonna.
But don't underestimate her either--as an entertainer Madonna has filled a niche in pop culture that was nonexistent for some time. Wyman says Madonna is celebrated for two things--her control of her image and her unconventionality; this may be true, but add to her credit her titanic sex appeal and knack for putting out great number one hits. I truly believe Madonna would be nothing if not for her sex appeal. Lynn Redgrave is unconventional, but she is not sexy, and she is not a superstar; Cher controls her life and her image, but she does not sell out the Rosemont Horizon three nights in a row. And despite what Wyman says about Madonna's songs dating quickly, I still hear "Holiday" and "Into the Groove" many times on dance and classic Top 40 radio stations.
How come I don't hear Deborah Harry's "Heart of Glass" or Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker"?
N. Lake Shore Drive